[Jennie Couling | Contributing Writer]
For some people, joining a society means a lot of hard work, dedication and time. But for those part of the LGBT+ society, the word has a completely different meaning. A night with the LBGT+ society is more like hanging out with a large group of friends.
“Other Universities use it as a hook up service but we use it as a social thing,” explained Chairperson Simon George. A typical meeting can be anything from playing card games to watching a film, a quiz night or simply chatting and listening to music.
Member Sam Brilliant said: “Everyone has their reasons for coming, but basically it’s people wanting to come and play cards and hang out.”
George admits that some people are shocked when they realise that the group aren’t as political as some might expect, he sees it as a positive thing: “These days things aren’t as bad… I haven’t heard of any problems.”
However, some members, such as Brilliant, see the mere existence of the group as a political statement: “I think LGBT+ is the best thing for anyone interested in equality,” he said. “It’s way more about LGBT being genuinely equal and not rubbing it in people’s faces.”
With such a casual atmosphere, it’s clear that any new members are always welcome to the group. “People bring along different people,” Nadia Coppleman explained. “We’ve always got an activity.”
Keen to emphasise that anyone is welcome, including straight people, George said: “Personally I feel like, as part of standing tall and fighting, we’ve got to be inclusive…that’s why we have the plus – it includes everyone.”
Meetings are every Wednesday around 7.30pm in C152 except the last week of the month when the group head to Style Bar for half price cocktails. Anyone interested in joining can find more information on their Facebook page Herts SU: LGBT or website hertssu-lgbt.co.uk.
As part of LGBT+ History Month the University’s Equality Office are holding a number of events.
- There’s a free public lecture titled ‘After Same-Sex Marriage and What Next for LGBT Rights?’ on 10th February with LGBT+ activist Peter Thatchell in A166 Lindop Building. Doors open at 17:30 for a 18:00 start. Booking is required through the Equality Office’s website
- A Trans Awareness workshop is being held 19th February at F324 in The Wright Building 14:00 to 16:00 with Gendered Intelligence, a company who aims to ‘looks to engage people in debates about gender and building awareness around the ways in which heteronormativity regulates and restricts everyone’. Admission is free but tickets need to be booked through the Equality Office’s eventbrite page
- Carrying on from the screening of Pride on the 6th, there is a free screening of the film Still The Enemy Within on 25th February at 18:00 in E351 on College Lane. Described by the Equality Office as a ‘unique insight into the 1984-85 British Miners’ Strike the plot is an ‘ultimately a universal tale of ordinary people standing up for what they believe in’ and ‘challenges us to look again at our past so that in the words of one miner, “we can still seek to do something about the future”.’ Booking through the Equality Office’s website is essential